Lent has always been a season of introspection, but this one is clearly different. The COVID-19 pandemic currently terrorizing the world has caused us to both seek and question God. We are collectively, yet separately indistinguishable as the Angel of Death passes over our homes. Our search for meaning finds us wrestling with God like Jacob, but we are grateful that He engages rather than shuns us. With Tennyson we ultimately find “There lives more faith in honest doubt than in half the creeds.”
In days of trial, we look to both scripture and exemplars for inspiration. This month we welcome Karen Wright Marsh to Literary Life as she guides us through her timely book Vintage Saints and Sinners. As Karen says
Your timing is perfect, as we share all lives at a distance these days. Are you like me, tossed about by feelings of distraction and distress? Then we are in for some rich exchanges during the month of April.
Vintage Saints and Sinners offers up stories of twenty-five sinner-saints who experienced frightening eras of their own. How did they manage to come through? During her lifetime, Julian of Norwich saw the Black Death sweep through her hometown three times—yet she proclaimed God’s boundless goodness. Sophie Scholl and Dietrich Bonhoeffer resisted the dark powers of the Third Reich with Christ’s radiant courage. Even as they endured brutal racism, Mabel Paik Lee, Amanda Berry Smith and Howard Thurman spoke unceasingly of a God who loves us all, without reservation.
It is my hope that as we explore the lives of these “vintage” saints, you and I will each borrow a measure of their strength, hope, persistence, love and faith—and find the comfort making our way forward as a community, together.
We welcome you to the conversation with our friends from over 130 countries as we meet in our Book Club on Facebook which you can join by clicking HERE.
Grace and peace,
Editor in Chief